Paul Stanley Tells The Real Reason Gene Simmons Didn’t Sign Van Halen

KISS icons Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons talked about when their band could have singed Van Halen in their early days during a recent Q&A session as a part of their KISS Kruise. According to Simmons, not singing Van Halen was a massive mistake, whereas Stanley thinks it was an act of self-preservation.

For those of you who may not know, Gene Simmons discovered Van Halen when they started gaining recognition in the mid-1970s. The new band began performing at well-known clubs such as Whisky a Go Go in Sunset Strip, and after watching their show, the bassist believed that they could become successful with a bit of help.

The KISS icon decided to sign Van Halen to his Man of 1,000 Faces production company and even took the band members to a studio, where they produced 24 songs. What initially started as an excellent collaboration for both sides ended soon when Simmons decided to focus on his career with KISS.

Considering what an extraordinary band Van Halen became after all these years, Gene Simmons admitted during the question-and-answer session on the KISS Kruise that letting them go was a big mistake. According to his statement, the band was happy to work with them, and a 24-track demo was ready, but they eventually didn’t sign them.

On the other hand, Paul Stanley thinks his bandmate remembers the incident the way he wants to. If you ask the frontman, Simmons didn’t sign the Van Halen back then to preserve his own career as he would get sidetracked if he signed Van Halen and would fail to concentrate on his work with KISS.

Regarding Van Halen, Simmons said:

“We made one big mistake, one. There was a band called Van Halen. They were signed to Man Of A Thousand Faces Inc. There was a 24-track demo. They were owned lock, stock, and barrel and signed and happy and wanted to sign with us, and we said no.”

In contrary to his bandmate, Stanley said:

“Thank goodness. The reason we said no was that part of Gene’s joie de vivre, which means love of life, is he likes to look and do all different things. And sometimes that means reining him in, especially early on in the band’s career where getting involved in other projects was really going to hurt the band.

You couldn’t listen to Van Halen and not think they were great. Bill knew it. I was with Gene when he first saw Van Halen at the Starwood. But the idea of managing or producing bands when we really were still at the beginning of our career was something that was… the move is called self-preservation.”

You can watch the Q&A session below.